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Answers to Your College Questions

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Posted by on in Paying for College

 Filing the FAFSA can be a confusing process, but never fear! Our college financial expert, Frank Palmasani, has the answers to your most pressing questions.

What is the FAFSA and what does it do?

The FAFSA is the official document used by the federal government to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This EFC number is used by colleges to determine your eligibility for all need-based programs, such as federal grants, work-study employment, and student loans. It is also used by many state agencies to calculate your eligibility for state grants and by colleges to calculate your eligibility for college need-based grants.

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Posted by on in Paying for College

steps-before-filling-out-fafsaIt is that time of the year for parents of high school seniors to complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2014–2015 academic year.

There are two ways you can complete your FAFSA: using estimated 2013 tax information or exact 2013 tax information. If you plan to file your taxes in early February, I recommend that you wait to complete your FAFSA using actual 2013 tax information. However, if you are not likely to file your taxes until late February, March, or April, I would advise using tax estimates on your FAFSA, and returning to the form to make updates after your tax returns have been filed.

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Posted by on in Paying for College

After filing your FAFSA (your Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you will receive a very important number in your Student Aid Report—your EFC. The EFC, or your Expected Family Contribution number, is critically important to determining the cost of your college options.   But many families don’t understand what this number actually means and how colleges use it.

So what is the EFC? Look to these four commonly asked questions to fully understand your EFC and how it will affect your college costs.

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